Signs of Stress in Teens

Nov 6, 2018 | Blog, Adolescent Treatment, Communication, Helping a Loved One, Stress

Worried about your teenager? Here are some signs to look for that may indicate that your teenager is stressed or at risk for mental health or substance abuse issues.

  • Sleep disturbance – This includes having nightmares, sleeping too much or too little, or waking up throughout the night.
  • Changes in relationships with siblings – If there is a dramatic increase in the number or severity of arguments between siblings, then it could indicate that there are problems within your teen.
  • Disturbance in eating patterns – If your teen is beginning to binge eat when they are upset or are having difficulty eating at all, then it could indicate that they are emotionally stressed.
  • Increase in negative statements about themselves, others, or the world around them. Examples include:
    • “I can’t do anything right.”
    • “You can’t trust anyone.”
    • “No one really cares.”
    • “What’s the use in trying.”
  • Dramatic mood swings – If your teen’s mood tends to swing dramatically and/or occur with exaggerated intensity, it could be a sign your teen is in distress.
  • Changes in school behavior – A drop in your teen’s grades or an increase in behavioral problems at school can indicate emotional, behavioral or substance abuse problems.
  • Changes in personality – If your teenager’s personality changes in a negative direction, it could indicate that they are using drugs and/or alcohol or are struggling with emotional problems.
  • Regression to previous developmental stages – When teenagers get stressed, they tend to revert to old behaviors.
  • Withdrawal – If your teenager is becoming increasingly withdrawn from the family or their friends, they may be struggling with stress or depression.
  • Easily agitated or angered – Teenagers that are stressed may become easily agitated. They may take this anger out on those around them or may break items of value.

Remember that teenagers tend to act out their feelings if they don’t have effective tools to cope with the stressors that they face. As a parent, it is important to trust your instincts. If you feel like something is wrong, reach out to your teenager and get them the help that they need.

New Dimensions Can Help!

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.

Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit to learn more.